Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The ABC’s of Discernment: L is for Limitations

We often think that reaching full maturity means gaining complete freedom. But while adults have many freedoms to enjoy, they hardly live without restrictions. There are authorities to whom we all must submit. Some rules are never meant to be broken, no matter the age or maturity. With great freedom comes great responsibility, which is a restriction in of itself. Even more, each of us will deal with personal limitations our entire lives.

Unlike the restrictions which come with the different stages of maturity, personal limitations lack uniformity and any logical progression. A child may share many similarities with other children and must pass through adolescence to reach adulthood. However, personal limitations tend to be as unique as our personalities and situations, out of which we may or may not grow.

In short, these gray areas are not wrong in of themselves but wrong for you personally, thus requiring self-restriction in that area. These areas fluctuate from person to person and may even vary within one lifetime. This means personal limitations covers a broad, ever-changing expanse—pretty much anything not directly covered in Scripture or by maturity and often crossing territories with both. As a result, a limitation can be as mundane as skipping a specific type of media when feeling blue to shunning certain locations and situations due to the effects of life-long addiction.

But whether the limitations are small or great, many or few, we all have personal limitations. And by learning to live within those boundaries we discover a freedom that a restriction-free life can never provide. 

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